Black Manta

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Real Identity: Kaldur'ahm "Kaldur"
Affiliation(s): The Team
Appearances: Independence Day Part One, Part Two, Welcome to Happy Harbor, Drop Zone, Schooled, Infiltrator, Denial, Downtime, Bereft, Targets, Terrors, Homefront, Alpha Male, Revelation, Humanity, Failsafe, Disordered, Secrets, Misplaced, Coldhearted, Image (Illusion), Insecurity, Usual Suspects, Auld Acquaintance, Alienated, Depths, Darkest, Before The Dawn, True Colors, The Fix, Complications, Summit, and Endgame
Appearances (Comics): Stopover, Haunted, Hack and You Shall Find, Face Your Fears, By Hook or By Web, What's The Story?, Fears, Wonderland, Cold Case, Hot Case, The Pit..., The Pendulum, ...And The Penalty, Under The Surface..., ...Here There Be Monsters, Monkey Business, and Gorilla Warfare
Appearances (Games): Legacy
Powers/Skills: Hydrokinesis, Electric Manipulation, Enhanced Strength, Underwater Survival, Armed Combat, and Unarmed Combat
Voiced By: Khary Payton

Kaldur'ahm, a citizen of Atlantis where he was born and raised in the city of Shayeris. He is the son of Sha'lain'a, native of Shayeris, and Calvin Durham, former agent of Black Manta. At age 12, he completed his education and began mandatory service in the Atlantean military, standard for all at that age. Awhile after, Kaldur'ahm transferred to and studied at the Conservatory of Sorcery in Poseidonis, capital of Atlantis. Fellow classmates Garth and Tula were also his best friends. It is said, one day, Kaldur'ahm and Garth came to the rescue of Aquaman when their king was defeated by Ocean Master. Ocean Master was distracted long enough for Aquaman to regroup and save the day. Aquaman offered them to become his apprentices but only Kaldur'ahm accepted and he became Aqualad.

Aqualad can manipulate water through mystical skin icons, in the representation of eels, that power his primary weapons, the Water-Bearers. The Bearers then utilize water stored on Aqualad's backpack or any nearby water source. He became renowned for his unwavering loyalty to Aquaman and sharp focus in battle. His primary weaknesses are exposure to extreme heat and dehydration. He also has a need to show himself capable of being Aqualad and deserving of the title by making a difference. As Aqualad, he lives his dream of being an adventurer and visiting distant oceans and the surface world.

Two years later, on July 4th, at 6:02 Hawaiian Standard Time (HST), the 16 year old Aqualad and Aquaman defeated Killer Frost at Pearl Harbor. Aqualad pulled ahead of Aquaman and faced off against Frost alone. He rendered her unconscious with an uppercut from the Water-Bearers' frozen constructs.

After Speedy aired his grievances and left, Aqualad was uneasy with the secrets kept by Aquaman. When Kid Flash and Robin implied they were going after Project Cadmus unsanctioned, Aqualad agreed and felt it would be poetic justice the solve the Justice League's own case before they do. While Robin downloaded some files, the Guardian appeared and recognized the teenagers. Aqualad engaged Guardian in battle and stunned him with electricity while the others boarded the elevator. Once they found Superboy, Aqualad decided it was time to contact the League. Upon sending a signal from his belt buckle, Aqualad and Robin realized they were too deep below ground to broadcast a signal. They were captured but Aqualad was able to reason with and appeal to Superboy. However, they had to deal with Dr. Desmond, who transformed himself into Blockbuster.

Robin formulated a strategy to defeat the hulk. Aqualad laid down a pool of water on a spot designated for Blockbuster. Once there, Aqualad used the water as a conduit for his electricity. Blockbuster then became an easy target for the collapsing building. After some convincing, Batman decided to assign the four teenagers to a special black ops unit to run covert missions for the League, simply named "The Team." Despite some hesitance, Aqualad agreed to join Robin and Kid Flash in an unsanctioned mission to stake out the office of Selena Gonzalez in Central City on July 9th. Aqualad was one of the team members outfitted with new stealth technology. When he presses his belt buckle, Aqualad's costume shifts from red to gray. During the team's first mission, everyone approved of Aqualad as the leader. Aqualad accepted on the condition that Robin would one day assume the role when he was ready. On August 8th, Aqualad's nigh-immunity to jellyfish toxin was put to the limit when he fought Cheshire. Fortunately, he set up a diversion that bought enough time to defeat the League of Shadows.

On August 27th, after a failed mission, Aqualad returned home to Poseidonis, after a two month leave. He considered rejoining the Conservatory and professed his love for Tula. However, Tula revealed she and Garth were a couple. To compound matters, the city was under siege by Black Manta, who was planning to extract a recently discovered frozen giant echinoderm. Aqualad and Garth prevented the extraction. With his focus regained, Aqualad returned to the Cave in time for a new mission briefing. On September 5th, Aqualad extended an invitation to Superboy and Miss Martian to accompany him to Atlantis. This was in part to help him face Garth and Tula. They visited his parents, Queen Mera, and former classmates. However, Aqualad was troubled when he discovered old prejudices were tearing the Atlanteans into factions thanks to a group called the Purists. On September 7th, Aqualad, Superboy, and Miss Martian set out to investigate Old Roman's Trench but were ambushed. Aqualad anticipated this and was reinforced with several of his former classmates. After the battle, they set out to defeat Ocean-Master and save Queen Mera.

On September 7th, 19:20 National Standard Time (NST), he received a call from Red Arrow in Taipei. Aqualad supplied him with the exact height of Cheshire, who was speculated to be in position to assassinate an arbitrator brought to the Rhelasian peace summit. He then saw Miss Martian and Superboy off as they left to attend their first day at Happy Harbor High School. Some hours later, Aqualad teleported to Taipei to provide support for Red Arrow. Aqualad hid among the crowd present at the peace summit and protected them from Cheshire's next attempt. While fighting Sportsmaster, Aqualad learned of an inside source. He decided to investigate the matter quietly rather than risk unraveling the Team.

On September 14th, Aqualad participated in an op and attached a Proprietary Collar to Tommy Terror, of the Terror Twins. He later awaited in the cloaked Bio Ship with Red Tornado outside of Belle Reve Penitentiary while Superboy and Miss Martian investigated inside the prison. On September 22nd, Aqualad told Red Tornado about the mole investigation and wondered if he should inform Batman. While Aqualad was checking in with Kid Flash, Miss Martian, and Superboy, they were attacked by Red Inferno and Red Torpedo. Aqualad and Miss Martian were imprisoned in a high heat cage construct, their elemental weakness. He managed to stay conscious unlike Miss Martian during the ordeal.

While Aqualad briefed Batman on the mole situation, Superboy overheard and confronted him. The Team was nearly divided over the secret and didn't know what to make of their leader. During a mission to India, Aqualad was plagued with doubt but after a conversation with Captain Marvel, took command and led to Team to save Marvel from the Brain. The Team eventually learned of his reasons and voted to keep him on as leader.

On October 1st, during a battle against the Injustice League, Aqualad decided to initiate his contingency plan. He put on the Helmet of Fate and was transformed into Dr. Fate. After the battle's end, Kid Flash was irate that Nabu would not allow Aqualad to take off the Helmet. Fortunately, Kent Nelson convinced Nabu to do so. After the failed training exercise, Aqualad was troubled that he acted as a soldier rather than a general. He resigned but took it back when it was apparent no one was ready to take the burden of leadership. On November 11th, Aqualad worked with Aquaman, Batman, Flash, and Robin to destroy a Flying Ice Fortress. On November 22nd, Aqualad did not go on the Qurac mission and was with Aquaman. On December 5th, Aqualad took a smaller unit, including Red Arrow, to track Sportsmaster in New Orleans. The mission was a failure.

On February 16th, 21:31 EST, Team Year Five, Aqualad and Nightwing were working in the Mission Room of the Cave when they were joined by Kid Flash and Artemis. Soon after, Batman gave them an assignment to find the kidnapped archaeologist Dr. Sandsmark. Aqualad called in the Team, except Bumblebee and Lagoon Boy whom were on special assignment. As the scope of the mission expanded, the Team procured two fragments of an ancient statue from Sportsmaster. Aqualad noticed magical sigils on the fragments and sent Aquagirl to the research center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to gather as much information on them as she could. Once a connection was made to Lex Luthor, Aqualad took lead of Alpha Squad and took the Bio-Ship to Santa Prisca. After reaching a rendezvous point, Alpha ran into Black Manta Troopers instead of Aquaman. Batman advised them to search for Atabey's Shrine, where Aquaman's last transmission was sent from.

Alpha encountered Bane and descended an ancient elevator to a drilling site overseen by Luthor with the help of Black Manta. Aqualad observed Aquaman being kept in a stasis chamber and that another fragment was found. Alpha freed Aquaman and defeated Black Manta. Before he passed out, Manta implored Aquaman to tell Aqualad the truth about something he kept secret for years. Aqualad learned Black Manta was his true biological father. He was angered Aquaman sought to protect him with a lie. Aqualad took lead of Alpha Squad once more when the Team learned Klarion had all the statue fragments and vanished with Aquagirl in pursuit. After Zatanna tracked Klarion's locus of magic to Bialya, Alpha fought through a heavily guarded desert canyon and gained entrance to the Esagila, a temple dedicated to Marduk. Aqualad became troubled when two paths presented themselves and requested Beta Squad to be formed and explore the northwest entrance.

After entering a chamber leading to the Sacred Well Room, Aqualad slashed at Teekl and made it drop the Tablet of Destiny. Klarion was irritated and demanded it back. Aqualad realized it was the key to stopping Tiamat and refused. Klarion sent Blockbuster after them but became further incensed when he was rendered unconscious. Klarion blasted Aqualad but the Tablet was broken in the process. Klarion cut his losses and left Bialya with Teekl. Aqualad and Alpha raced to the well room. To Aqualad and Tempest's horror, Aquagirl was dead having sacrificed her life to save the world. Left with unanswered questions about his origins, Aqualad took a leave of absence from the Team and left Nightwing as its leader. He left a message in the Cave advising Nightwing to lead well and make time for those he held dear. Some time after, Aqualad returned to the Cave. In the Grotto, he and Nightwing agreed to a plan to take down the Light once and for all. Aqualad's part was participating in a deep cover mission working for Black Manta in order to get closer to the Light. Only he, Nightwing, Kid Flash, and Artemis knew about the mission.

On January 5th, Team Year Six, Aqualad gathered the final shipment of Kroloteans and transported them to Malina Island. After reporting to Black Manta, Aqualad proceeded to phase two. Once sector three guards didn't report in, Aqualad quickly sighted intruders and alerted his men to attack. A mysterious Partner planted an alien bomb under the base and informed Aqualad he had five minutes to evacuate. After eluding the Team and Justice League, Aqualad attempted to make his escape but ran into Nightwing and Superboy. Aqualad proposed Nightwing to either stop him or the bomb. Aqualad vacated the island base and was picked up by the Manta Flyer. On January 7th, 07:07 Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST), Aqualad arrived at the Manta Sub and reported a mission success to Black Manta.

On March 19th, during the pre-launch sequence of the Earth-Mars-Communication-Satellite, Kaldur'ahm led a strike force to Cape Canaveral to destroy it. When the operation was altered by Lagoon Boy's interference, Kaldur'ahm neutralized him and had him taken away to serve as a specimen for Partner. Kaldur'ahm took control of the ground assault and fought against Nightwing and Artemis. Kaldur'ahm attempted to salvage the mission and destroy the rocket with his shoulder mounted miniature missile launched but Artemis intervened and destroyed it with one of her Trick Arrows. He played his part and pretended to kill Artemis by fatally stabbing her.

Kaldur'ahm left Cape Canaveral with his men back to the Manta Flyer and docked at the Manta Sub in the Atlantic Ocean on March 20th, 00:00 EDT. When Black Manta congratulated him, Kaldur'ahm admitted he had nothing to do with the rocket's destruction. Black Manta revealed he had a bomb smuggled aboard it and the mission was actually a test of character designed to observe how Kaldur'ahm would deal with failure. Black Manta declared it was time to take him to the next level and further into the fold with the Light. On March 20th, 04:00 EDT, Kaldur'ahm arrived in Bludhaven to meet in secret with Nightwing, Wally West, and Artemis Crock. Once Nightwing placed a Glamour Charm on Artemis, she left with Kaldur'ahm aboard his Manta Flyer.

The Light had one more test for Kaldur'ahm: capture Blue Beetle. Leading a small team of villains, Kaldur'ahm attempted to capture Beetle in El Paso on March 23rd but he and Impulse fled the scene with alien tech. Kaldur took this into account and the tech would disable security in the Cave. Kaldur and his team proceeded to collar everyone present and blow up Mount Justice. During the battle, Kaldur'ahm slipped a flash drive, filled with intelligence, to Nightwing. The destruction of the base and delivery of Blue Beetle, Impulse, and Beast Boy enabled Kaldur'ahm's approval from the Light. On March 30th, Kaldur'ahm went aboard a Reach Ship and was given a tour by the Reach Ambassador. He learned about their Meta-Gene research. When his question about Blue Beetle went nowhere, Kaldur'ahm informed the Ambassador another shipment of teenagers was on schedule. Soon after, he ran into Miss Martian and Beast Boy. Miss Martian performed a telepathic attack out of revenge for Artemis and left him in a catatonic state. In doing so Miss Martian learned the truth and was at a loss. Tigress admonished her and escaped with Kaldur'ahm.

Vandal Savage "lent" Psimon to Black Manta to help fix the damage done to Kaldur'ahm, who was unresponsive and bedridden. Tigress covertly rendered Psimon catatonic before he could go into Kaldur'ahm's mind. It became suspected that Miss Martian sabotaged telepath's minds and Tigress and Deathstroke brought her in to do the repairs. Miss Martian and Artemis went into Kaldur'ahm's mind and experienced Poseidonis in ruins. Artemis found Kaldur'ahm and managed to convince him to fix things together. Artemis pulled him from a whirlpool and brought him to Miss Martian. Together, the two started to rebuild Poseidonis and Kaldur'ahm's mind. After six hours, he recognized Black Manta as his father but Miss Martian reported it would take days to weeks to finish repairing his mind. Kaldur'ahm was completed healed but continued to fake his condition until a plan to save Miss Martian was composed and agreed on.

On May 27th, Cheshire attempted to kill Kaldur'ahm but Miss Martian intervened. When the security camera was disabled, Kaldur'ahm tried to tell Cheshire Artemis was alive and aboard the Manta Sub but she didn't believe him. Black Manta detonated an explosive charge and entered Kaldur'ahm's room. Kaldur'ahm was buried under the door hatch but was brought to the mental plane by Miss Martian. Miss Martian, Kaldur'ahm, and Artemis revealed the truth to Cheshire and Sportsmaster. Cheshire played along with the plan. While Miss Martian hoisted Black Manta and Cheshire up on the wall, Kaldur'ahm came to and tackled Miss Martian. After Cheshire and Miss Martian fled the room, Black Manta embraced his son happy to see he was well again. On May 28th, 17:00 EDT, Black Manta and Kaldur'ahm reported to Vandal Savage and the Reach Ambassador.

Kaldur'ahm was entrusted with security for a summit on Santa Prisca between the Light and the Reach. Just before the start of the summit, Kaldur'ahm took out Deathstroke and Miss Martian took his place. At the summit's start, Kaldur'ahm calmed tensions between both sides and inquired about the impending return of Superman, Batman, and the other Justice Leaguers from Rimbor. According to the Team's plans, Deathstroke shot and killed both Artemis and Kaldur'ahm when they were revealed. Kaldur'ahm played a recorded holographic message where he revealed the Light's manipulations - adding a neutralizing agent to the Reach drinks, intentially giving the Team access to the Bialyan scarab temple, and influencing public opinion. Once the Ambassador and Vandal Savage faced off, all of the Team revealed themselves and attacked the summit. Kaldur'ahm battled Black Manta. While admitting their was a nobility to Black Manta, Kaldur'ahm reiterated he would stand against his father so long as Manta remained a villain.

Kaldur'ahm knocked out Black Manta and admitted regret at not being able to end the Light and Reach. At Nightwing, Kid Flash, and Artemis' behest, Kaldur'ahm admitted it was a good victory. He then reassumed his Aqualad mantle. At 05:24 EDT, on the Watchtower, Nightwing officially returned leadership of the Team back to Aqualad. Aqualad believed it was was unnecessary as Nightwing performed brilliantly as leader under such dire circumstances. Nightwing agreed and added that's why he was giving back the responsiblility. On June 20th, Aqualad fought Black Beetle aboard the New York City Reach Ship but was knocked out. As part of the mission to disable the Reach's Magnetic Field Disrupters, Aqualad was assigned to Sigma Squad with Lagoon Boy. They were tasked with a Disrupter in the Atlantic Ocean. Aqualad admitted he always trusted Lagoon Boy, as that was why he took his place on the Team for the duration of the deep cover mission. On July 4th, Aqualad accepted Nightwing's leave of absence and split the Team into three squads to answer a distress call from Mars, investigate LexCorp, and follow up on Batgirl's lead on Vandal Savage's next move.